Rep Pick: Marnie 


Marnie (1964)
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Friday, May 4-Sunday, May 6 at IFC Center's "Weekend Classics: Hitchcock"

For the collecting enthusiast, there are many Marnies. All are circa 1964, polished, clever, impeccably mannered and dressed, but don’t let this mislead you: there’s a Marnie for the thrill-seeker, a Marnie for the amateur psychologist, a Marnie for the feminist, a Marnie—or two—for the film historian, and a Marnie for the aspiring criminal. That these Marnies all look like Tippi Hedren rather than Grace Kelly, who Hitchcock had in mind when he bought the rights to Winston Graham’s novel, is now only a footnote. After a couple of hours in the company of Marnie Edgar, occasional secretary and full-time swindler, no one—including Sean Connery, swindled himself—will complain.

Marnie, of whom we are in pursuit from the first shot, has a habit of working secretarial jobs under assumed names and hair colors, each career change punctuated by her clearing out the safe and disappearing. Mama, alone in Baltimore with a southern drawl and a cane, hasn’t a clue – but, it appears, not much affection for her daughter anyway. But Marnie’s latest employer, Mark Rutland—Connery suppressing the Scot to play an American who’s kind of British—has affection to spare. And so the tussle: Marnie’s fear of storms, inexplicable dreams and fervent desire to remain untouched by men (while robbing them) versus the landed and besotted gentry, intent on taming her. There’s plenty of social and sexual carnage here, but also simple, breathless joys—waiting with Marnie in the semi-darkness as the office empties, helplessly complicit.


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